People in Missouri and elsewhere expect their food and consumer products to be safe when they buy them. Even so, instances of food poisoning, defective products and other issues have endangered consumers many times over the years. In most instances, these were accidental cases. However, there have been times when people have become ill or injured after someone deliberately tampers with products before they are purchased. It is important to understand that tampering with food is not a harmless prank. In fact, it can result in severe criminal charges.
Many people by now are aware of a recent incident, in which a young woman allegedly licked a tub of ice cream at a Texas Walmart, then replaced the lid and put the tub back in the case. The prank was recorded by her friend, and the video quickly spread across the internet. As OzarksFirst.com reported, law enforcement planned to charge the woman with second-degree felony tampering, claiming she could face up to 20 years in prison. They later discovered she was a minor, and they spoke to her about the severity of her actions instead.
Walmart officials assured the public that the affected tub of Blue Bell ice cream and the rest of the tubs in the freezer were removed and not sold. This shows how such a prank can impact a business financially, as well as affect the public’s health and safety. The article went on to explain that in Missouri, penalties related to food tampering depend on the intent of the person who committed the tampering.
Young people might not realize that what they consider a harmless joke can have serious consequences. Therefore, anyone accused of a crime should seek a competent defense.